what kind of shocks/struts on car?
Do you really expect and good answer to that question ? Why do you ask and what kind of information do you want.
There are at least 3 different types of shocks and struts used on this car. There is no way for my crystal ball to answer that question without more info.
This car has had the best of care and attention… Never driven off-road or graveled roads… Never been in accident or driven reckless… Recently it has been noticed that there is a “clunk” or noise that sounds like it has “bottomed out” whenever it encounters a normal size “bump” or “dip” in the road at speeds of 45/60 mph?. advised that the shocks/strutswere electronic… If so, how do they work and what could go wrong?
The clunk may or may not be the shocks or struts, it may be the rubber mount (if in the front) that has gone bad. You say it “sounds” like the car bottoms out. Lots of things can sound like that. So Who determined this? You? Or a mechanic?
As far as the electronic shocks… each shock if filled with oil that has tiny metal particles suspended in the oil. It Each shock also has a small electrical coil inside that when hit hit with voltage applied by a computer, makes the shocks and struts firmer to control the ride of the car. There are sensors at each corner that read the road for the computer so it know how much voltage to apply and for how long. It changes every 0.001 seconds as the car drives and sets the best damping independently for each shock or strut for that instant in time. Keeps the car from swaying, or bottoming or riding too firm or too soft for conditions. That’s a simple explanation for how it works.
The rear shocks are what we used to call “air shocks” since they have a air spring on the shock itself to level the rear of the car with heavy loads. The air springs and air lines can leak or the on-board air compressor can fail.
If the shocks or struts have lost fluid, they can clunk but the car will still ride pretty well until about half of the fluid is gone. If there is an electrical problem with the shocks, the shock’s computer can read that and will send an error message to be displayed - service ride control is typical. If one has leaked, no error message is sent. If one of the 4 ride sensors has broken, an error message is sent.
This has gotten long, but you asked and I used to engineer these parts, so I can share.
But given that this is a 13 year old car with ??? miles (you don’t say) if it is time to change a shock or strut, seems like you should not be too upset.
Did you get an actual diagnosis or just going by what someone told you . If you are going to have this work done then find a good shop , you will have to pay for the diagnosis and let them guide you on the replacement parts.
Thank You very much for the info… The mileage is 88,000… The car sits level, does not dip or sway when braking… does not bounce, no evidence of fluid leaks or damage… No sound heard when driving slowly over a speed bump… Only heard when at highway speed and over a typical small bump in the road… Not a metal to metal sound, but like striking a hard surface with a rubber mallet (rubber mount as you suggest?)… Occurs about once or twice for each mile of blacktop or concrete roadway… No diagnostic light on instrument panel… Could a fuse be tripped??.. I am not all that familiar with suspension systems or general car mechanics, but I have no faith in the local mechanics who know less than I do. Thanks again for sharing your expert knowledge…
Based on your last post, it is very possible that a shock or strut mount - the rubber part that isolates the strut from the body itself has failed. Noises as you describe - the rubber mallet noise - is whatnthey sound like when they fail. Those parts are simple, inexpensive and easily replaced.
If you don’t trust the knowledge of your mechanics, I’d suggest searching for a better one.